Shiitake & Sun-dried Tomato Lasagna Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Inspired by a recipe in the Food Network Cookbook

Bechamel Sauce:
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 rib celery, chopped
6 TBSP all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp salt
pinch freshly grated nutmeg and ground black pepper
Lasagna Sauce:

16 sun-dried tomatoes
1 lbs fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 TBSP unsalted butter
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 26 oz jar vegetarian pasta sauce

12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
1 recipe of bechamel sauce(above)


Bechamel Sauce:
Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot, carrot, and celery and cook, covered, until softened, about five minutes. Stir in flour with wooden spoon and cook until it lightens in color, about two minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to boil. Add parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Strain the sauce into a bowl and season with the salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Press plastic wrap on the surface until ready to use.

For the mushroom and tomato sauce; put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and add boiling water to cover. Set aside until soft, about 20 minutes, and then drain and quarter. Melt butter with olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Add shallots, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until shallots are golden brown. Add sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring, until hot through. Stir in sauce. Cook lasagna noodles according to the packaging directions. Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole with cooking oil spray. Mix Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses in a bowl. Cover the bottom of a prepared dish with a couple of TBSP of tomato sauce and then with 1/3 of noodles. Top with 1/4 of cheese, 1/3 of mushroom tomato sauce, and 1/3 of bechamel sauce. Repeat twice, and top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before slicing.


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